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Albright-Knox Art Gallery Partners with First Niagara Bank to Present New Mentoring Program: AK Teens

January 29, 2013

Buffalo, NY – The Albright-Knox Art Gallery announced the launch of its newest program for young Western New Yorkers today. The new AK Teens, presented by First Niagara Bank, is a dynamic mentoring program that will serve teens from across Western New York and Southern Ontario. Designed to mentor young adults seeking to pursue careers in creativity and the arts, AK Teens will provide a platform for young artists to exhibit their work, and to prepare portfolios, which are vital for admission to college arts programs. The program offers workshops and mentoring on subjects ranging from making art to working in the arts, and even public speaking. First Niagara has supported this initiative by providing financial backing as well as company volunteers who will teach sessions on budgeting and finance.

Announcing the program today, First Niagara Bank Senior Vice President Buford Sears said, “We are delighted to partner with the Albright-Knox Art Gallery to present and grow AK Teens. We thought this was a great idea when the Gallery brought it to us, and together we have developed a program that will provide a broader range of opportunities for our region’s teens to access this great museum right here in Western New York.”

The Gallery’s Interim Director, Karen Lee Spaulding, said, “We are very excited about this expansion in our programming for our region’s youth. First Niagara has been an outstanding supporter from the first time we talked to them about this idea. We are delighted that they will be active partners in AK Teens, providing not only financial support for the program but also important expertise in helping our teens understand how to manage the practical aspects of their careers, such as budgeting and securing funding for their work. First Niagara’s support is deeply appreciated by everyone here at the museum.”

AK Teens will expand the participation of young Western New Yorkers at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and provide mentoring to those seeking to pursue careers in creativity and the arts by offering a growing range of workshops and programming. AK Teens builds on the success of the museum’s Future Curators program, which allows young men and women to work alongside Gallery staff to plan, organize, and install an art exhibition.  This year, AK Teens will provide a number of new initiatives, including Portfolio Review, a Museum and Studio Workshop series, and Speak Out, a public-speaking course that will be taught around works in the Gallery’s world-renowned Collection.

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